Bear with me here. “Confessions of a Painter” doesn’t sound like it would have much to do with Newburyport, MA, but I’ll get around to that, I promise.
Discloser: I happen to be a painter.
Discloser: I have this “love-hate” relationship with PhotoShop.
PhotoShop (and similar commuter software applications) changed painting (Ok, that’s my opinion).
When I first discovered PhotoShop I was absolutely fascinated by it. I still am. Things that would literally take me years to do as a painter, could almost be done instantaneously in PhotoShop.
Someone, anyone could take a digital photograph, manipulate it in PhotoShop to look like a painting, print it on a canvas and sell it for a fraction of the price that I would sell my paintings for. And it would take a fraction of the time.
This in is the discouraged part of my “love-hate” relationship with PhotoShop.
And what is lost in this way of doing things, is the understanding and gradual knowledge that comes from the long and often tedious process and the creative journey of bringing a painting into existence. As well as the feeling of “power” and “intensity” that a painting transmits compared to something that is more like a “print.”
PhotoShop could also give a sense of “instant gratification.”
It feels as if “short sound bites,” “instant gratification” could become a way of life; as well as a possible identification with pop icons, or “interchangeable entities” that large corporations often provide, instead of longing for a “deeper” culture.
A hotel room in California could be identical to one in Massachusetts. Why bother to go to a different “culture” if so much of the culture could be interchangeable.
And that is why I think it is so important to take long hard looks at what is, could, might happen to Newburyport, MA. That we stay a distinct “community,” with a distinct sense of place, with a distinct “local” ambiance. That we don’t become yet one more bland, interchangeable, faceless place to be in America.
We have so much to offer in Newburyport, MA. And we are in a vortex of change, just like so many other communities in the USA. And we have choices that we can make. And I so desperately do not want to lose that sense of community that is here, that makes Newburyport such a wonderful place to visit, live, work and play.